Can Knight Riders reverse the tide?

In the 20 matches it has played Mumbai Indians, the team has lost 15 times.

Gautam Gambhir led from the front to help Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad in the eliminator in Bengaluru on Thursday.   -  PTI

Both teams have won the Indian Premier League title twice, but Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians do not match each other in terms of success when they play each other. The win-loss ratio suggests Knight Riders defeats its rival from western India once in every four matches it plays. This year, too, the team lost both its matches, albeit narrowly — in its first league round match against Mumbai Indians, it lost by four wicket in the last over, and in the second, at the Eden Gardens last week, it lost by nine runs.

On Friday, the teams will lock horns once again. But there is nothing to suggest the narrative could be any different. In the only knock-out match the two teams played against each other in the IPL — in 2011, Mumbai Indians had been triumphant. Overall, it now has 15 wins over its opponent in 20 matches—a win percentage of 75, which is its best among teams with which it has played more than six matches.

For Knight Riders, its record against Mumbai Indians is its worst among teams with which it has played more than four matches.

There had been a brief spell, however, when Knight Riders seemed to be turning the tide. In 2014, it defeated Mumbai Indians twice, a rare feat. It promptly went on to win the tournament. In the first match of 2015, it defeated Mumbai Indians again — by seven wickets, an authoritative win — but suffered a defeat later. Mumbai Indians, this time, clinched the trophy. It hasn’t looked back since.

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